Midsummer (Juhannus in Finnish) for Finns means celebration and the long, white night which is said to be the “nightless” one (yötön yö). In the Helsinki region the sun sets at about 22.50 and rises again already around 4.00 o’clock in the morning. In the Northern Finland the sun does not set at all! The nightless night of Finnish midsummer gives a great contrast to the darkness of the winter time.
Many Finns leave the cities for Midsummer and spend time in their countryside cottages. Midsummer celebrations traditionally include bonfires, sauna, good food, possibly swimming and of course spending time together with family and friends!
If you’re in Helsinki but you don’t have the possibility to visit a Finnish summer-cottage, there are also some midsummer events in the city area. You can take it easy or party all night long.
Juhannus in Pihlajasaari: Friday 23.6.2017, starting at 21.00 when the bonfire will be set on fire. Also grilled food and traditional dance music. Location and how to get there instructions can be found here Please note that the last ferry back from Pihlajasaari to the mainland leaves at 01.45 o’clock in the morning.
So, it was about this time two years ago I got an email accepting me to my course at the University of Helsinki! I remember shaking with shock, excitement and disbelief! There were excited phone calls made and I remember checking out the campus on google street view with a friend.
Shortly after, there came an interesting offer of joining the summer school, there was a Finnish course specifically for new master’s students. I decided it was a good time to find my feet, hopefully make a few friends and learn some language skills, even better was that the credits counted towards my final degree so that was a head start. As a side note, you don’t need Finnish to survive here, English is widely used but it’s nice to have a little understanding and you’ll look like a genius going home and speaking Finnish, even if you only order a coffee.
In short, I had an amazing time! I made lots of friends who are here doing their degree but also I keep in touch with other people I met during the summer school parties and events. Summer school appeals to so many people and has such a wide variety of courses that the social events are not to be missed. The people involved are the most eclectic and interesting bunch to get to know. The first day I attended the grand opening, we were warmly welcomed with fun entertainment, a group photo and a social gathering afterwards. We were given name badges with our course on and it was a good talking point, especially finding someone on the same course.
Come spring all the lucky and talented students who had applied at the University of Helsinki will receive their acceptance letters. Congratulations! We will be so glad to have you here with us. Go on, accept your study place and book your tickets for the incredible journey you are about to begin. But remember to apply for housing well ahead in time so that you may have a roof over your head (place to stay?) when you begin your studies in fall.
They say being born in Finland is like winning a lottery. I say studying in Finland is better. No amount of money can beat the amount of new friends, adventures, and experiences studying here will give you. During the summer you will get a letter from your tutor, but I wanted to greet you with a few welcoming words first.
The University of Helsinki is one of the best universities in the world. This is not only my opinion. The university has been several times ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. We are known particularly for the quality and amount of research. At the University of Helsinki, all teachers participate in research. Believe it or not, our best professors can also be our best teachers!
To keep business and pleasure in balance, the University of Helsinki has an active student life. With over 35 000 students, there is always something happening. Running in the forest with a map and a compass, wine tasting with surgeons, bar touring dressed up in overalls, taking a cruise to Sweden with your fellow students… All of this and a lot more is organised by the students of our university. If you get tired of student life, the city of Helsinki has also a variety of sights and attractions to offer. There are plenty of parks, museums, shopping malls, and cafes where you can take a break and have a moment to yourself. And then return to student life.
It is normal to feel nervous before starting studies in a new country. There is a lot to do and to remember in a new city with new people. This is why we have tutors, students at the University of Helsinki who are trained to take care of you and help you with your journey into the academic and student life. All the questions about certificates, documents, course registrations, and campus area are answered by the tutors. They also take you to the best parties and organise hangouts. A tutor is someone whose goal is to make you feel welcome and like home here.
We are all looking forward to meeting you at the end of August. Let the adventure begin!
On Monday 30th January we visited the Observatory, one of the Helsinki university museums. It is incredibly easy to get to, a leisurely short walk from the city center. We were greeted by Paula, a very energetic, bubbly and extremely knowledgeable tour guide who made us all feel at home.
The observatory was completed in 1834 is now a museum but was lived in as recently as the 1960’s by the professor of astronomy. There are several fun reminders of its residential history such as a section of the wallpapers through the years or the antique cooker near the cloakroom.
The tour begins in a room with some fascinating old equipment such as telescopes and documents and we even discover that the lounge ceiling would have opened to allow the astronomer to lounge back on his chair and study the night skies. It sounds very idyllic and extremely romantic until we discover that the fireplace in the room would have remained cold as the heat would cause visual disturbances. Perhaps a little chilly in the winter!
On the 27th of January, a bunch of us Student Ambassadors were lucky enough to get a guided tour of our university’s museum. We are definitely privileged as a university to have a museum dedicated to safeguarding the entirety of our institution’s history.
The University of Helsinki’s rich and long history can be divided into three main eras. It was established in 1640 as the Royal Academy of Turku. In the 1800s it was moved to Helsinki during the Russian Imperial era, hence becoming the Imperial Alexander University in Finland. It was during this period that the university became increasingly more scientific and research-based, kind of like we know it today. Finally, in the post-Independence era, it became the University of Helsinki. These periods are all easily colour-coded in the museum’s itinerary, a set of informative displays under some gorgeous and ever-changing ceiling lights.
On January 12th 2017 the University of Helsinki hosted the Welcome Fair for its new exchange students as a part of the Orientation Week. This is a brief guide about the whats and wheres should you have missed the Welcome Fair for whatever reason.
Service Points there are 6 dedicated Student Service Points where you will be taken care of. Please check with this list for your faculty’s Service Point.
Instructions – Check list Below is an abbreviated 9 step check list which covers all the essentials. At the end of the list you will find a pdf file containing the same steps explained in much more detail.
Certifcate of Student Status – how to receive yours.
Student Union Membership – instructions on how to become a member if you wish to.
Arrival Certificate – where to go to if you need your home university’s Arrival Certificate signed.
Travel Card discount – how to get your HSL travel card.
User account of the University of Helsinki – how to get your credentials for your computer user account.
Student card – if you chose to join the Student Union you may apply for a student card which come with quite a few perks.
Registration for courses – registration for courses is done electronically through weboodi, in order to register for courses you need to have your credentials. More about this in the pdf.
Finnish personal identity code – how to get one or change your preliminary one.
Updating your address – how to update your address and telephone number in weboodi.
Are you staying in Finland over the Christmas holidays?
You may be going to Lapland, travelling elsewhere within Finland or the other Nordic countries, or staying in Helsinki to experience a Finnish Christmas. If this is the case, here is what you can do in Helsinki during the holiday period:
Has November got you down? Don’t worry, we have the solution: free art!
For the 13th time Ateneum is opening its doors to students to give them an experience full of culture, lectures and workshops at the Art for Us! event on November 23. Come indulge yourself in the masterpieces of italian painter-sculptor Amedeo Modigliani.
This year, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki celebrates its 148th anniversary!
Our student union will celebrate its birthday at the Old Student House on 26 Nov. However, the celebration will start already one week earlier! The anniversary week offers a wide range of activities for HYY’s members. Pick your favourite events and join the celebration!
22 Nov Match Made in Museum – Student Edition
4pm–8pm University Museum
The singles night organised by the University Museum and HYY provides ice-breaking programme, interesting encounters and a little bit of history and culture at the same time. https://www.facebook.com/events/1765294973731980/
3pm–7pm Main Building of the University of Helsinki (Fabianinkatu 33)
Friends of HYY’s History (HYYHY) association organises a seminar on the phases of the student union and students. After the seminar, you can get to know the University Museum on a guided tour. In Finnish. https://www.facebook.com/events/1282147295151929/
24 Nov The formal wear flea market!
4pm-8pm Alina Hall (Mannerheimintie 5 A, 3th floor)
The festive period is a joyful time but can also signal constantly recurring clothing crises for some. Thankfully, we have a solution for this: the formal wear flea market! https://www.facebook.com/events/1750332598560764/
26 Nov Birthday party at the Old Student House
11pm-3.30am Old Student House (Mannerheimintie 3)
HYY celebrates its birthday at the Old Student House. The evening will be filled with music, dance and – thanks to our anniversary partner – very, very student-priced sparkling wine. Tickets 6 euros when bought by Sunday 20 Nov, and include a free overall patch as well as the cloakroom service fee! https://www.facebook.com/events/1786402184932503/
27 Nov HYY148 SIllis Breakfast
12am-6pm Christina Regina ja Gustavus Rex (Leppäsuonkatu 11)
Do you want to continue the bombastic party feeling of HYY148 the next day? Come to the free sillis, available to those participating in the Birthday Party on the previous day! https://www.facebook.com/events/1836357629942414/